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Student loan debt can contribute to divorce

46737804_S.jpgMany people in Missouri are struggling under the weight of student loan debt, which has grown dramatically in the past decade. On average, student loan borrowers have $34,144 in debt. The average debt for graduates of the class of 2017 is even higher at $39,400. In the past 10 years, the percentage of borrowers who owe more than $50,000 has gone up 300 percent. Just as student debt can have a significant impact on life decisions, it can also have a major effect on marital relationships.

A number of millennials have decided to postpone major life plans like getting married or buying a home because of concerns about debt. For those who do decide to get married, the psychological stress and pressure associated with student loan debt can be devastating to a relationship and lead to divorce. Concerns about the financial future can be expressed with anger or anxiety, and that stress can damage the marital bond and romantic connection. Because financial issues can already be one of the most serious problems a marriage can face, significant student loan debt only exacerbates these concerns.

In one study of student loan borrowers, 43 percent said that they regularly argue with their partners about money. In another survey, one-third of divorced people with student loans said that their financial issues, including educational debt, played a role in their divorces. Another 13 percent explicitly blamed student loans for the end of their marriages.

Differences over student loan debt can reveal underlying conflicts about how to spend, save and manage money. Unfortunately, these can sometimes be difficult or impossible to reconcile. A family law attorney can help a divorcing spouse protect key assets and achieve a fair settlement in terms of property division and other major concerns.

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